Cries of “Go!” filled the air at Haldeman pool on Saturday morning. The weather was fair, the pool was shimmering, and reflections of teammates, family, and friends could be seen on the surface of the water. The cries intensified as the swimmers hit the final orange strip until the beep that signaled the end of the race was heard.
“The Occidental meet was a great meet for both me and the team as a whole,” Erik Garcia PO' 19 said.
And indeed it was. It was a showcase of how dominant the Pomona-Pitzer men's swim and dive team (7-0 SCIAC) has been this season, boasting an undefeated record. The Sagehens finished the meet against Occidental College (2.5-3 SCIAC) with a final tally of 208.5 to 58.5. The team exhibited their dominance by taking first place in all but one of the events on Saturday.
Garcia, who came in first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:54.79, reflected, “This was my best race of the season by far, as I was only off my personal best by half a second. The speed came so easily and I didn’t fatigue at all, which is a great sign that my hard work and dedication during the season is paying off.”
Mark Hallman PO '18 also had a great meet, taking first in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with a time of 21.55 and 47.29, respectively. When asked which stroke was his favorite, Hallman jokingly answered, “Honestly, it's been so long that I don't remember any other strokes.” But he definitely showed his strong suit in both his individual races and the relays.
Both swimmers were also part of the team that set the pool record for the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:02.68, breaking the previous record held by University of California, San Diego. “We were all feeling tired by the end of the meet, but we were prepared to swim fast and pushed through the pain, and ultimately shattered the record,” Garcia said.
The Sagehens have begun resting in preparation for the SCIACs championship which is just two weeks away, though they show no sign of slowing down, as seen in the meet against Occidental. “We're getting to that time of year where we start resting. So, it's nice to see that people are swimming well,” Hallman said.
“Our team is better than it has been in decades … and we're getting better every year,” Hallman said. The team's chemistry has been good and attitudes are high. Garcia also added, “Pomona-Pitzer Swim and Dive is looking faster, stronger, and sexier than ever. All other SCIAC teams should watch out, because the Sagehens are ready to take down anyone!”
Before the SCIAC championship, the P-P Swim and Dive hit the waters again on Saturday, Feb. 6th, at Haldeman Pool where they will face off with their rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (7-0 SCIAC), who also boast an undefeated conference record. It will be a meet to remember as the two neighboring powerhouses fight it out in the water before heading into the season finale.